What was the perception of your staff
on the research?
The research and planning process was received
well by staff and even those who do not have
a day-to-day role in drinking water operations. In fact, the City’s Public Works Director
loved the approach and would like to use it
outside the drinking water department.
What is a major benefit of using
Forecasting the Future during
It gives you the luxury of having that broad-based scanning research completed before jumping into the planning
process. The leg work is already done for you, and you just
need to look at the major issues and see if these issues
are relevant to your utility and its strategic plan efforts.
Incorporating the Forecasting the Future document proved cost
effective and helped us fast track our strategic plan. Leveraging
the research helped us move quicker and identify items that
would need the most planning. With that information available,
we finished our planning in about three to four months.
Anything that was surprising from the
In some ways, it was eye opening on the
diversity of the subject matter—how many
impacts and future trends our industry
touches. Our industry has a lot of tentacles
out there, so there is a lot to plan for.
Any lessons learned or advice for others
looking to implement a strategic plan?
A lot of times strategic plans are met with some eye rolling,
especially since strategic plans tend to just sit on the shelf.
To make your strategic planning a success, you need to figure
out how to sell your vision and plan to your organization. I recommend developing annual tactical plans with a framework that
keeps people in the process. The broader strategic plan should
span multiple years.
So now that the strategic planning is complete, where
do you go from here?
Now that we have a strategic plan in place, our utility will build yearly tactical plans. We want to demonstrate progress and build workable tactical plans on
an annual basis and use the broader strategic plan
to keep us focused on an overarching vision.
the Future document proved cost
helped us fast
track our strategic plan.